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Apr 01, 2020 03:27PM ● By Lesley Stiles

Lesley Stiles


In times of crisis we have the golden opportunity

As I pen this missive, our world is in a different space then we are used to. It’s still early, so I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow or in the near future. Everyone has been hit hard as you all know. You are the everyone. It’s been interesting to observe different coping mechanisms. Some feel that stocking up on a thousand rolls of toilet paper will do the trick. Others are baking. Lately, every time I go to the grocery store, I notice people buying lots of cake mixes. At Harvest House in Concord, the flour bins were literally empty, which means customers are baking from scratch. I’ve seen lots of families outside playing with their kids. I like that. There are lots of people taking in fresh air, walking the streets, and enjoying breaks in the much-needed precipitation.

At first panic, farmers’ markets were closed but are now deemed an essential service. My heart sings for that news. People shopping in the open air and buying fresh, organic produce from people that need the money is a no brainer. Regardless of this awful, potentially deadly virus that has overtaken us, we still need to live. How we live is how we get through this mess. I maintain that we need to keep our humanity and sanity. I believe if we slow down while navigating this new life, we will be able to be nice to other people as we pick at the Soviet era empty shelves in the grocery store of our new normal. My mom got a letter on her door from a neighbor telling her to call if she needed anything -- grocery store, errands, anything. My mom is 90 and my sister and I take pretty good care of her, but what a nice surprise that letter was.

In times of crisis we have the golden opportunity and privilege to make stuff better. To make ourselves better. It is handed to us because everywhere you turn, something needs to be fixed, loved, helped, nurtured, or even taught a new way to do a job. We get to do this because the need is there, and we are in an abnormal crisis. At a time when we need it the most, we cannot have physical contact. At first it was kind of a joke to bump elbows or feet, but it wears on a person. If you are a hugger like me, it’s hard, and now is the time we need it most.

It’s ironic that in times of crisis what we really want to do is hug each other and tell each other it will be ok. For me, not being able to have physical contact with my friends is difficult to remember. Yikes! That’s right, no hugs. When we come out the other side of this and are allowed to hug friends and strangers again, I believe our humanity meter is going to be way up. I believe humility, kindness and making do with less are going to be positives that come from this. I believe spending time with our kids and loved ones with our eyes and ears open is going to be an astounding gift we receive when all this is over. I believe we may slow down and be a little more grateful for all our blessings.

Here at Roxx on Main we are working hard at counting our blessings. We are trying everything to stay alive. It’s a small, young operation and it’s going to be rough, but hopefully, we will come out whole and everyone will get back to work so we can build again. Cancelling music gigs, going to a skeleton staff, washing dishes, they all make it so real. We are, at this writing, open for take-out and delivery only.

I also believe in eating good food, so we are super fortunate that the farmers’ markets are still open to us, at least as of this writing. Asparagus, peas, green garlic, and greens of all kinds are sugar sweet and begging to be bought. Berries are starting to make their spring appearance and carrots are screaming sugar bombs. Hope and spring go together hand and hand, and this is a fabulous time of year to be outside roaming the market and hiking the hills. For years, as I have hiked our hills, social distancing has never been an issue as there aren’t enough folks on the trail to scare you, BUT now that everything else is banned, I hope that while you are getting out for fresh air you will run into friends and neighbors and greet each other warmly (even as you keep the allotted space between) and can look forward to the day when we can once again hug or shake a hand.

At of this writing we are open for take out and delivery only. We have a full menu and wine list on our website We are able to sell bottles of wine and beer unopened. We also have gift certificates available for future fun!! There WILL be future fun down here!! We aren’t going anywhere and have a full music line up online for when we do reopen for other than takeout and delivery!!

We thank the community greatly for all the support you are giving us!!

Lesley Stiles is Chef/Owner of Roxx on Main

627 Main Street Historic Downtown Martinez

925 370 7699

[email protected]


Asparagus Pasta w/ Green Garlic and Cremini Mushrooms

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 pound cooked pasta such as Orecchiette or small shells to hold sauce

1 cup vegetable or chicken stock, heated

1 pound asparagus, sliced in ½ inch pieces

4 stalks of green garlic, cleaned and sliced

Zest of 2 Meyer lemons

1 cups sliced cremini mushrooms

6 ounces of Reggiano Parmesan cheese

3 Tablespoons chopped parsley

Kosher salt and freshly grated pepper

Heat olive oil in a deep sauté pan. Add green garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes until it begins to caramelize. Add the mushrooms and asparagus and sauté for 3 to 4 more minutes. Add a cup of stock and let it come to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes until asparagus turns bright green. Add pasta and lemon zest and heat through. Season w/salt and pepper and toss in parsley. Garnish w/shaved Parmesan. Serves 4.


Fresh Fruit Crisp (maybe using those berries from the farmers’ market)

6 cups fruit

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1 cup brown sugar

1 cube butter, melted

1 T vanilla

1 T cinnamon

1 cup oats

1 t salt

Preheat oven 375*. Spray 8x8 baking dish. Place fruit in dish. Mix flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, oats, and salt in bowl. Crumble onto fruit. Bake one hour until fruit bubbles and top is crunchy and lightly browned. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or cold the next day for a very decadent but sensuous and utterly fulfilling breakfast. Serves 6